Also appropriate as Other Rituals
Overview: A Soulful Sundown worship on abundance, exploring the interwoven nature of emptiness and fullness
Theme or Background:
- set in our usual way with fabric and strips.
- we will have bowls around the perimeter - half of the bowls will be filled with fountain water during the service, half of the bowls will remain empty.
- the side of the fountain whose bowls are empty will also have pitchers of water.
- the Tibetan singing bowl will be on the altar
- various CDs of meditative chant and flute music
- or live flute with soft drums
Welcome people to Soulful Sundown, and speak about spiritual abundance and the cyclical paradox of emptiness and fullness.
"This Clay Jug" by Kabir
reading #608, Singing the Living Tradition
Ritual Filling of the Bowls:
play a few minutes of meditative music; fill half the of the bowls with water from the fountain.
This evening we are going to share two stories with you from Everyday Sacred, a powerful collection of spiritually reflective vignettes written by Sue Bender. The first is called "Overflowing Tea" and was written in response to a flash of insight where she thought to herself, "I am empty."
Everyday Sacred, p. 15-16
How do we begin in emptiness? In the business of our lives, the complexity of this world, and in our own fears we can get incredibly over-full. We invite you into a time of meditation, into the central portions of your being, into that knowing that is found in deep quiet, to find those places which feel over-full. Those places which are so laden that they leave no room for newness, for blessing, or for abundance. What needs emptying?
We will ring the bell, and enter into five minutes of silent reflection. Let the sound of the bell and the soft notes of the flute draw you deep into your center.
Ring the Tibetan Bell
Play five minutes of meditative music
After five minutes: Ring the Tibetan Bell
The second vignette from Sue Bender's Everyday Sacred is called "Offerings."
Everyday Sacred, p. 40
teach the chant, "Return Again."
Return again. Return again.
Return to, the land of, your soul. (2x)
Return to who you are,
Return to what you are,
Return to where you are,
Born and reborn again.
Now we will walk, and pour, very carefully. You are invited to come to the fountain as the spirit moves you to enact the emptying of something that which is a burden or filling up with wisdom, to allow greater spiritual abundance into your life.
On one side of our altar there are bowls that are full. If you are feeling full, laden with something very heavy. Please speak just a few words about that thing, and empty a little bit of water from one of the bowls into the fountain. The other side of our altar has bowls that are empty. If you are feeling the need for renewal, for refreshment, for an indwelling of wisdom, please share just a few words and pour a little bit of water into one of the bowls.
playing a CD track of meditative flute or chant.
We will briefly reprise, "Return Again."
Our closing reading is "The Fountain" by Denise Levertov.
Thank everyone for coming, leave to another soft, meditative piece of music.
Copyright: The author has given Unitarian Universalist Association member congregations permission to reprint this piece for use in public worship. Any reprints must acknowledge the name of the author.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Monday, March 25, 2013.
- Words for Worship
- Holidays & Ceremonies
- Copyright & Worship
- Worship Theory
- Contemporary Worship
- Lay Programs
- Young Adults
- Congregational Stories
- Wayside Quotations
- Submission Form